Pastor Tim Terrell
My Grace is Sufficient for you...
I have been thinking a lot about this verse lately. It came up in my devotional reading and I have been praying about it and pondering it.
The context is that Paul has been praying for what he calls “a thorn in my flesh” to be removed. We don’t know what the “thorn in the flesh” was for sure. It could have been a physical problem, difficult circumstances, emotional difficulties, problems with people (maybe Paul’s extra grace required person) or anyone of a number of other things.
We do know that Paul’s prayer went unanswered at least three times. It was then that the Lord reminded Paul that His grace was sufficient, was all Paul needed to deal with what he was going through.
Rick Renner, in his book Sparkling Gems, wrote that based on the Greek used this verse could be translated….
“My grace is more than enough for you. If you’ll receive it, you’ll find that it will sufficiently endow you with more than you need to deal with any situation. My power is always on hand, available to help you in moments when you are weak and needy…”
That is good news isn’t it! Here are three thoughts about the passage….
1. In life stuff happens. There is always something that we would rather not have to deal with or go through. Often these are persistent things that we pray about again and again.
2. God’s grace is sufficient when stuff happens. As we receive God’s grace afresh in our lives we can find the strength we need to face it, whatever it is. God’s grace is more than enough for us!
3. God will see us through it when stuff happens. When in the middle of the stuff life throws at us we can be tempted to think that we are not going to make it. However, by God’s grace He will see us through it!
Whatever it is we are facing today- physical problems, relational difficulties, financial woes, emotional discouragement or anything else - God’s grace is more than enough to help us to face it faithfully and fruitfully!
Jesus’ grace is more than enough for us!
All for Jesus,
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17
I am so proud of my wife. For several years, going back to at least our St. Mark’s days, Debi has had the dream of writing a book about the miracles she has experienced in her life.
These have included surviving being hit by a car, her home being destroyed by a tornado while Deb and her brother and one of her sisters were inside, being propped up by an angelic hand when falling down a long stairway while pregnant with Abby, and some would say surviving 31 years of marriage to me.
Years ago Deb wrote up a draft of her story but that’s all the further it got. However, at the first of the year Deb began writing a 5 day a week blog on Facebook called Spiritual Calesthenics. The blog has been a real blessing to thiose who have been following it. Debi has developed the discipline of writing even when tired, even when it would have been easy to do something else.
Deb’s blog has helped her develop her writing style and helped her share her thoughts about how God is at work with her and through her. I believe by writing Deb is developing some of the gifts God has given her. I also think she is much closer to writing her book than she has ever been before.
I am proud of my wife for being proactive and going for her dream!!!
Here is her blog from today…
God’s Glory Always Wins
We so often want the picture perfect life that we have imagined in our mind. In achieving that expectation we usually only plan on perfect conditions. I could not have planned this photograph any more perfect, even the bird is centered in the cloud while in mid-flight. The reflection of the sun is truly golden and the sun seems to explode across the sky as it glistens in a ribbon of light across the gulf.
I fell in love with photography quite a few years ago on a trip to Florida. I have always loved being able to freeze time with a quick snapshot but it was with a series of pictures taken on this particular trip that my eyes and heart were forever changed. I usually cherish the rainbows that are created after a storm occurs but this shot just happened to be taken before the storm. I captured this photo as I stood on a pier facing the sunset. However looming behind me was storm clouds threatening to erupt any minute. I remember putting my camera under my shirt to protect it from the beginning sprinkles.
The term troubles when applied to life usually makes me think of danger or life altering events. When I look at this photo I am reminded that one must decide on where to place their focus. If I had turned my back to the sunset, I would have photographed dark grey thunderclouds that were about to dump buckets of rain. Worse yet, I could have chosen to forgo the picture and run to the car for safety. For just this instant I decided to ignore the storm and focus on the majestic scene playing out before me.
Many times, our reaction to trouble can significantly affect the outcome. We can easily miss the glory moments because we are too scared of the possible storm. Throughout the Bible we are promised trouble in this life but in 2 Corinthians 4:17 two important points are made that are worthy of our attention. The first point is that trouble is referred to as light and momentary. Lastly we are reminded that in the end those very troubles we experience are used for His glory.
We have choices to make when we are faced with trouble, we can focus on the looming storm or we can turn the trouble over to God and let Him use it for His eventual glory. Don't run away from trouble but embrace it and look forward to the final picture. One thing for sure, if God has anything to do with it, then it is no doubt going to be beautiful.
I think that’s pretty good stuff. If you would like to follow Deb’s blog all you need to do is join Facebook if you haven’t already and then search for Spiritual Calesthenics.After finding the blog “like it” and if it is is a blessing to you share it with your Facebook friends.
I am convinced that God has something for each of us to do. It may not be write a blog like Deb is doing but God has gifted us each in such a way that we can be a blessing. Our gift back to God is developing those gifts He has given us.
May we all be proactive in developing the gifts God has given and in chasing the dreams He has planted in our hearts!
All for Jesus,
Treating Mom as a VIP
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will
live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 NLT
Mother’s Day is coming soon. (It’s on May 14th this year.) For many it is a great time to be with your mom. For others, it is a bittersweet day when you remember ones you have lost, dreams that have been broken, and relationships that are strained.
It is interesting that the first commandment of the Ten Commandments dealing with human relationships is to “Honor your father & mother…” I think this is because the way we learn to relate to our parents has such a profound impact on all of our other relationships. When we have learned to treat our parents right it is easier to treat everyone else right.
The word honor means to treat someone as a person of substance, to treat someone as a VIP (a Very Important Person). When we honor someone, we give them the respect they deserve.
A few years ago, I came across a book by Dennis Rainey entitled, The Tribute. In the book, Rainey challenged his readers to honor their parents by writing a tribute to their moms and dads honoring them for the good things they had done for them.
When I was serving the Cromwell church we actually did this for both our moms & dads. Then we had some of the folks share these during our worship services. It was a great experience. Several found it to be a healing exercise.
This Mother’s Day (the one that is coming up) I would like us to try to honor our moms by writing tributes. Here are some memory joggers and a guide line to help in the writing process…
- Create a memory list- family traditions, family funnies, vacations, what were your mom’s favorite hobbies? Places? Foods? Holidays?
- What is something you will always remember about your mom?
- What is something you will always appreciate about your mom?
- What was important to your mom?
- What character qualities stand out when you think of your mom?
- What legacy did your mom pass on to you?
- If possible limit your tribute to about 500 words. (The tribute should fit on a single sheet of paper.)
During both services on Mother’s Day Sunday I will be preaching on “Treating Moms as VIPs” and inviting those who feel led to share a tribute to their mom. If you would like to share a tribute, please let me know beforehand.
Writing the tributes will allow us a chance to honor our living mothers. By doing this now it will give our moms a chance to hear some things that often aren’t shared until funerals.
If our mothers have already passed it will give us a chance to remember the good things God has brought into our lives through them.
In Ephesians 6:2-3, Paul points out that this is the first commandment with a promise attached to it. The NLT words it this way…
“If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”
There is a blessing that comes to us when we treat our moms as VIPs! Let’s join together in honoring our moms!
All for Jesus,
In my mind one of the most powerful chapters in all of Scripture is Romans 8. Here are a few of my favorite verses from this chapter…
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” v. 1-2
“So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’” v. 15
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” v.26
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” v. 28
In the last part of chapter 8 in the New Living Translation the phrase “...for us” appears several times. I noticed this the other day while having my devotions. Here are the verses…
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” v.31
“Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” v. 32
“…for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” v. 35
Know this today and remember this as we move on toward Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter God is for us!!! God is for you!!! The story of Jesus shows that God is for us, not against us!
Sisters and brothers if God is for us what does it matter who is against us! Because God is for us, may each of us live wholeheartedly and passionately for Him!
All for Jesus,